'The Termite' Starting to Chew Up ACC

by - Correspondent -
Keith Adams brings down Marshall's Doug Chapman.

CLEMSON - Clemson linebacker Keith Adams seems to like his nickname.

His teammates call him Termite. He laughs when he thinks about a tiny termite tearing down a house.

"A termite is small and can get the job done," said Adams, who is 5-11 and 220 pounds.

Adams, a sophomore, had 16 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack Saturday in Clemson's 33-14 win over Virginia. The Termite's work helped to tear down Virginia, but Adams might have to change the nickname he loves. A termite's work is quiet. Adams is not so quiet anymore.

He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference lineman of the week after his performance against Virginia. Adams found out about the honor on the Internet. "Me and some friends were looking up some NFL stats and college stats and I was pretty shocked to find that," said Adams. Adams is going to try his best to scurry back into the woodwork.

Like a good termite, he doesn't want the recognition.

"We're not looking for any individual accreditation," said Adams of a defense that has been overshadowed by

Clemson's offense this year. "I don't need anything to back up what I'm doing. Just going out there every week and getting the job done is what we want. We're pretty tough."

Adams was obscure until Saturday. Despite some pretty high preseason expectations last year, he played sparingly until the final two games. He entered this season as a first team linebacker, a leader of a young linebacker group.

Along with Adams at linebacker are sophomores Chad Carson and Braxton Williams. It's a young group, but it passed a big test Saturday against Virginia and its running back Thomas Jones.

Jones, who averaged 110 yards a game last season, rushed for less than 100 yards. Carson had 14 tackles and Williams had nine tackles and a diving save of a fumble. Williams batted the football, which had been fumbled by Virginia quarterback Dan Ellis, and kept it from going out of bounds. Clemson's Jason Holloman recovered the ball.
"That came from having played high school basketball," said Williams, an outside linebacker who was named the ACC's defensive back of the week. "In basketball you want to keep the ball inbounds. If it goes out, they get another shot at it."

Clemson's offense benefited from Williams' play. It scored on a 43-yard drive. Brandon Streeter completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Wofford.

Williams is a converted defensive back who, like Adams depends more on speed than size. He was a running back in high school in Greensboro, NC.

"I'm learning to stay away from the big linemen and use my speed and quickness," he said. "I don't have the strength to take on a lineman."

He isn't as shy of the headlines as his counterpart, the Termite. "It was a big mention for me. I was surprised to get the award, especially at linebacker," said Williams.

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